VOL.9 NO. 2 © 2000
IN THIS ISSUE:
Is The New Testament the Only Word of God?
Feast of tabernacles 2000
Which Calendar Do We Keep?
Do You Want Truth?
If Noah Lived Today
Walking The Path To Life
Signs For Churches
by Charles Kimbrough
Did The Apostles Believe In Just Part Of The Old Testament Or Did They Believe It All?
What Books Did The Apostles Teach From & Why?
This subject is being addressed because of questions being asked by people who claim to be Christians and claim to be following Jesus the Christ. We get questions such as, "Jesus paid for our sin and did away with the Law and therefore we do not have to keep the Old Testament laws." We were recently with some of our family at a reunion which brings to mind what one of my sister-in-law stated last year, "We are New Testament Christians!!" At that time I did not answer her back. However we are New Testament Christians believing everything that is written in the Law/Torah (the first 5 books of Moses), The Prophets and the Writings. In other words, the so called Old Testament.
Which leads me to ask a question: What books did Jesus, James his earthly brother, Peter, John and Paul use? It could NOT have been the writings of James, Peter, John, Jude and Paul because these books were not written till after 49-50 AD. Any good Bible will show the approximate dated authorship. The book of Matthew was not quoted from until 110AD. The book of Mark could have been written as late as 64-67AD. The book of Luke could have been as late as the sixties AD. The book of John could have been written as late as the nineties AD.
Then what books did they use as scriptures to teach from? Let's go to the source, the horse's mouth so to speak, Luke 24:44 and quoting our Savior: "These are the words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, That all thing that are written in the Law of Moses [Torah the first five books of Moses] the prophets and the Psalms concerning Me." Then He opened their understanding that they might comprehend the SCRIPTURES. Notice what Jesus called the Scriptures was the Old Testament. Notice also it was after the cross and the resurrection.
Jesus also made the statement in Matthew 5:17, "Do NOT think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets I did not come to destroy but fulfill." Then He adds in verse 18, "Till heaven and earth pass away NOT one jot or tittle will by NO means pass from the Law till ALL be fulfilled. DO YOU really comprehend what that statement means? It means that ALL of the 10 commandments are still in effect and that includes the 7th day Sabbath, NOT Sunday as some want to teach.
What books did Peter, James, John, Jude and Paul teach from and where did the get the authority to teach from those sources? First of all they got their authority from Jesus, Matthew 28:18-20. Notice what Peter did and said in Acts 2:1, "When the day of Pentecost was fully come they were all gathered together in one place OBSERVING the Day of Pentecost. These brethren including the apostles and followers of Jesus the Christ were observing the Old Testament commanded assembly on the day of Pentecost. NOTICE this is after the Cross, the resurrection and his ascension, 53 days after the cross. These first Christians did NOT know that the old Scriptures were nailed to the cross.
What about the Apostle Paul, what did he teach and what scriptures did he use? Acts 18:9, "Now the Lord spoke to Paul saying, 'Do not be afraid, but speak and do not keep silent for I am with you.... :11 And he, Paul, continued there a year and six months teaching the word of GOD among them." That word was the teaching, the Old Testament. Acts 24:10, Paul had been asked to speak after he had been accused of preaching contrary to Moses and said, "I do more cheerfully answer for myself. Because you may ascertain that it is no more than 12 days since I went up to Jerusalem to worship." :12 "And they neither found me in the temple disputing with anyone nor inciting the crowd, either in the temple or in the city. :13 Nor can they prove the things of which they now accuse me. :14 But this I confess to you that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the GOD of my fathers, BELIEVING ALL THINGS which are written in the Law and the Prophets."
Paul believed the 10 Commandments were still in effect, including the 4th commandment, the seventh day Sabbath. 2nd Timothy 3:13-15, "But evil men and imposters will grow worse and worse deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and being assured of and knowing from whom you have learned them and from childhood you have known the scriptures WHICH ARE ABLE TO MAKE YOU WISE FOR SALVATION through faith in JESUS the Christ." Here, Paul is telling Timothy that the scriptures, which is the Old Testament, are still in effect and that there would be those who would try and teach that the scriptures were done away with. Does that NOT sound like all these so-called Christian churches of today? Anyone who has doubts should go to a Strong's or Young's exhaustive concordance and see how many times the New Testament refers to the word "scripture-s" a total of 52 times. This does not count the references to the Old Testament which are too many to count. Most of the New Testament is quoting from the Old Scriptures.
Peter made a statement about the apostle Paul that I would like to quote. 2nd Peter 3:15, "And consider that the long suffering of our Lord's salvation--as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all of his epistles speaking in them some things hard to understand which un-taught and unstable people twist to their own destruction as they also do the rest of the scriptures." Here Peter is saying that Paul's letters agree with the Old Testament and are counted as scripture to those who are learned and not trying to change the teaching of the Old Scriptures.
Then what is the problem that causes the confusion over which day is the Sabbath? Jesus said it best in Luke 6:46 when He said, "Why do you call me Lord, Lord and do not the things I say?" Then in Mark 7:6-7 He said, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: "This people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men." Then in verse 8 He says, "For the laying aside the commandments of God, you hold the tradition of men."
These Sunday keeping churches fit this description to a TEE. I have a brother in law who once told me that he would keep nine of the commandments but would not keep the fourth. How sad to be following the Catholic traditions and their claim of having the authority for changing the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday!
Why did the apostle Paul do what he did in Acts 13:42-44? "And when Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. The next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God and that word was from the Old Testament."
Question: If Paul was preaching in any of his epistles that the Sabbath day had been changed or done away with, why didn't he tell these gentiles that the Sabbath day was done away with? Why did he not tell them that it was changed from the seventh day to the first day of the week?
Challenge to anyone who can show that in the Scriptures, the Old Testament or the New, that the Sabbath day has been changed or that the Catholics had the authority to change it!!!!! Show us where Jesus, James (the Lord's brother), Peter, John, Jude or the apostle Paul observed Sunday as the weekly day of worship.
It is NOT in the book folks, not one jot or tittle that shows that the Sabbath day has been changed to Sunday or any other day of the week.
The Catholic church will tell you, if any one would take the time and trouble to ask them, that they changed the day from the Sabbath to Sunday in 325AD at the council of Nicaea. The reason for changing was to get rid of the Jewish influence in the church. At that time they also changed the Passover from the evening of the 14th to Sunday and at that time also instituted the so called drinking of the wine and bread to Sunday.
The facts are that Jesus was the Passover Lamb and Jesus died at the same time of day that they killed the lamb in Egypt. The traditions of the Sunday church FLIES in defiance of what the early church did. In 325AD followers lost their lives for following the early church. They observed the Quattuordecim of eating of the bread and drinking of the wine. They refused to follow the new doctrine of Sunday worship and the man made tradition of taking the bread and wine on Sunday instead of Passover.
Jesus said we are to follow the commandment of God and NOT the traditions of men.
THEN WHO IS REALLY TO BLAME?
The apostle Paul made a comment to the elders from Ephesus in Acts 20:28-30, "Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with his own blood."
Then Paul makes the following statement in verse 29, "For I know this that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you not sparing the flock. :30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after themselves."
Who is really to blame? Rev 12:9-10, "So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the DEVIL and SATAN, WHO DECEIVES THE WHOLE WORLD; HE WAS CAST TO THE EARTH AND HIS ANGELS WERE CAST OUT WITH HIM." It is Satan who is the accuser of the brethren but he works through people. Satan and his cohorts are attacking the church, first through the leadership, then with each individual member. They have been very effective in the assault on the leaders. Change the leaders, THEN change the message. IT IS THE MESSAGE OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND THE RULE OF JESUS THE CHRIST THAT HE WANTS TO STOP. There is a WAR going on over whether we will follow JESUS or SATAN, and whether God's message will continue to go out. Satan's whole sales pitch is deception. He attacks our weaknesses, then lets the whole world see our failures. He accuses the brethren before God, then exposes their sins to others for only one reason, TO DIVIDE THE CHURCH.
That is what happened in Paul's day and what happened in 325AD is still happening today. Churches are following the traditions of men and not following the commandments of God. Where do you stand? Will you be in the kingdom of God?
It's up to each and ever one of us to either follow God and Jesus or the traditions of men. WE can not do both.
If anyone is interested in knowing the correct interpretations of Acts 20:7, Romans 14th chapter Galatians 4th chapter, Colossians 2:16-18 or any other part of the New Testament that you think does away with the Sabbath. We will be glad to respond because these are the verses that most Sunday keepers use to do away with the Sabbath. Remember what Peter said in 2 Peter 3:16, "As also in all his epistles speaking in them things in which are some things hard to understand, which those who are unstable twist to their own destruction as they do also the rest of the scriptures." Then Peter adds in verse 17, "You therefore beloved, since you know these things beforehand, beware lest you fall from your own steadfastness being led away with the error of the wicked."
by Mark Carr
Please Join Us For Worship And Fellowship!!! This year's theme will be: The Armor of God
We urge all of you to join us for eight days of worship and fellowship. This year there are two beautiful sites to pick from. Arrangements have been made to hold the Feast in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Lake Worth, Florida. Both are attractive settings in which to keep God's Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day. Please make your reservations TODAY and let us know you are coming.
Each year I write an article trying to explain how important it is for you to come to the Feast of Tabernacles. In the past I have written about the good times we have had. Written about the wonderful fellowship and the love that everyone feels for each other at our sites. I write about the programs that are planned and the activities and outings. Some of this is included in this issue, however the main reason you need to come to the Feast is because you love God. There are many of you who have had a difficult year and are wondering if you can go. Some have health problems, some financial difficulty, others fear loss of their job.
If you are sick, come and be anointed. If you are lacking money, some help is available, or camp in a tent if you have to. If your car won't make it, ride the bus. If you fear for your job, why would you want to work for someone who makes you violate your beliefs for a paycheck?
The Feast is an appointment that God has made for us. We are the bride, Jesus is the bridegroom. It is a Holy Convocation, a date at a specific time that we are summoned to appear on. It is very important to attend.
Let's look at Mary and Joseph. Mary was 9 months pregnant and it was time for the Feast of Tabernacles. She rode a donkey while Joseph led it up one mountain & down the other walking to the Feast. They were poor and didn't have much money, (we know this from Luke 2:24 where she made a paupers offering for her purification). They slept with the animals in the equivalent of a barn to be there. How important was it that Mary be there?
How important is observing the Festivals to God? He said this is a sign that we are His, Exo 31:13 and Eze 20:12-20. If we refuse to observe these appointments we are cut off, Exo 31:14, Lev 23:29, Num 9:13, etc.
Observing the Feast of Tabernacles is one of these important spiritual events. We spend eight days worshiping God at the time that He sanctifies. Only God can create "Holy Time". If we are faithful and obey His commandments, He will bless us spiritually.
We must never forget that the Feast is a sacred celebration that God has given us as a gift. He has commanded us to set aside a small portion of our wages each week so that in the fall we can spend eight days with our family and friends worshiping Him. No debt, no worries and no pressure. To assure our enjoyment, He commands us to take the money that we save and "buy whatever our heart desires" (Deu 14:26). What a great and awesome God we have! Why would anyone refuse to obey Him?
To observe this sacred Festival we have made reservations at the beautiful Beach Colony Resort in Myrtle Beach, we hope you join us there. We have reserved two banquet rooms for our exclusive use. We look forward to eight days of worshiping God with singing, wonderful sermons, great Bible studies and fellowship with old friends & hopefully some new ones.
We have arranged for these beautiful accommodations through Myrtle Beach Connections. Call Mariane to make your reservations. I'm sure she will be very helpful. Her number is (1-800-867-8525), tell her you are with United Biblical Churches of God for the group Package. If you need a brochure you can call the resort at (1-800-222-2141), or visit their web site at: www.beachcolony.com
We have negotiated special rates, the fall rates drop beginning October 14th the first day of the Feast. We are listing both in case you arrive early. The room Descriptions are as follows:
|ROOM TYPE||BEFORE OCTOBER 14TH||STARTING OCTOBER 14TH|
|Oceanview Studio||$41.25+3.92 tax=$45.17||$35.25+3.35 tax=$38.60|
|Oceanview Guest Suite||$55.50+5.28 tax=$60.78||$45.75+4.35 tax=$50.10|
|Oceanview 2 Bedroom Condo||$66.75+6.35 tax=$73.10||$54.75+5.21 tax=$59.96|
|Oceanfront 3 Bedroom Condo||$120.00+11.40 tax=$131.40||$105.00+9.98 tax=$114.98|
|Oceanfront 4 Bedroom Condo||$133.00+12.64 tax=$145.64||$120.00+11.40 tax=$131.40|
The room Descriptions are as follows:
Oceanview Studio, 1 room with 2 queen beds, 1 bath. 2 adults, 2 children.
Oceanview Guest Suite, 1 bedroom with 2 queen beds, living room, kitchenette, 1 bath, private balcony. 2 adults, 4 children.
Oceanview 2 Bedroom Condo, 1 bedroom with 1 king bed, 1 bedroom with 2 double beds, living room, kitchen, 2 baths, washer/dryer, private balcony. 4 adults, 2 children.
Oceanfront 3 Bedroom Condo, 2 bedrooms with 1 queen bed each, 1 bedroom with 2 twin beds, living room, kitchen, 2 baths, washer/dryer, private balcony. 6 adults, 2 children.
Oceanfront 4 Bedroom Condo, 2 bedrooms with 1 queen bed each, 2 bedrooms with 2 twin beds each, living room, kitchen, 3 baths, washer/dryer, private balcony. 8 adults, 2 children.
Remember to bring your musical instruments for song services, special music and the fun show. Ideas and volunteers are needed for special events to be held each afternoon and evening. If your children are planning to participate in the children's services, please contact Mary Carr 7daycog@JerusalemSentinel.com, Linda Lewallen firstname.lastname@example.org, or Pat Myers, you can mail them at PO Box 70635, Knoxville, TN 37938.
If you have any questions about the Feast, wish to volunteer for helping out or speaking, or have an idea to share, contact Charles Kimbrough at 352-621-7888 PO Box 547, Crystal River, FL 34423 email@example.com or Mark Carr 865-922-5420 PO Box 70635, Knoxville, TN 37938 mcarr@JerusalemSentinel.com
With lots of sunshine and reasonably priced attractions, we can look forward to having a great time this year. Please consider joining us in worshiping God this year. This could be the best site we have ever had. I hope to see all of you at the Feast this year.
For those of you who choose south Florida; Once again Neville Gilbert and the Christian Church of God will be hosting the Feast in Lake Worth, Florida. They will try their very best to honor God and to help everyone who joins them have a joyful and profitable Feast. Give this site serious consideration. For more information, call Neville at (561) 585-4580 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
by Mark Carr
Since 1989 we have observed the new moon calendar, the same calendar that Jesus observed. We have written many articles on the reasons why and have a booklet, God's Calendar vs Roman-Jewish Calendar that you can request or view on-line.
The reason for this article is to remind us all that with every truth that God gives us, comes responsibility. This spring we had calculated that the new moon would be sighted over Jerusalem the evening of April 5th. It was not. There was a storm and the sky was very hazy making it impossible to observe the moon and the 1st of Nisan/Abib to begin.
I received inquires on what we would do. In the 2nd Temple period when Jesus & the early Church were there, in this situation where it was the 29thday of the month, they would not have declared a new month. People wanted to know what we were going to do because this affected when we would observe Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread. Should we go ahead & observe the calendar as was calculated, or should we follow the ancient practice?
It was not an easy decision because this year the holy days in the rabbinical calendar were the same as the new moon calendar that God gave Moses. Both groups would have been keeping Passover together.
It was a hard decision, but it was the right one. I quickly let everyone that I could contact know that we would be observing the spring festivals one day latter.
So why am I telling you this now? Since 1998 we have been getting monthly reports from the Karaite Jews in Jerusalem when the new moon was sighted. We have computer programs that can predict when the moon will be visible, but they can not predict storms, fog or haze that can make the actual sighting impossible.
This year the new moon for the 7th month should be visible on the evening of September 29th. There is however a very small possibility that it could be seen on the 28th. If this were to happen, the fall festivals would be one day earlier than predicted.
That is why the new moon was observed on the 29th and the 30th evening in Biblical times. If it was sighted on the 29th, the new month was declared. If it was not visible it was observed again the next evening as each month has either 29 or 30 days in it. We can read about this in 1 Samuel 20:5-27.
If you want to know for sure when the month began, you can check at www.karaite-korner.org /kknmr.shtml or call Charles Kimbrough at 352-621-7888 .
by P Myers
When my family was still attending a Baptist church a couple of years ago, there was a man that wanted to start a ministry called Karate for Christ. He was a good friend of ours, and he knew that my husband, Paul, and myself were teaching Sunday School and that we love kids. He asked Paul to help by being one of the parent helpers, and he asked me to do a Bible study after the classes. We both agreed with enthusiasm.
When we first started this, I would basically just read them Bible stories, but it wasn't too long before God showed us that He wanted us to come out of that church. This is where the story gets interesting. After we left the church that was sponsoring the class, I felt as if reading stories, wasn't enough. This is when I started doing Bible studies. I needed to show these kids how to study their Bibles, (and by the way) they were asked to bring a Bible to class with them so they could see that what I was telling them was true.
I knew that I couldn't get into any doctrinal issues, so I just started showing them Bible truths. I would not put my opinion on anything we were studying, but rather let them gain their own opinion from what we read. This was very tricky to do. I really had to watch what I was saying to them. I also had a couple of the parents that sat in on the classes, and everyone seemed to enjoy learning. Then, I made the mistake of having them learn a song called "The Perfect Ten". This is a little song that we sing at the 7th Day Church of God in Knoxville. It had helped me learn the Ten Commandments. We would practice this song after each Bible study. For five weeks we studied the Commandments and what they mean. We actually sang this song for the kids' parents, and everyone had a good time.
I knew that it was just a matter of time, before I would get called on this one. I just kept praying that God would allow me to keep teaching these kids. I knew they weren't getting any real truth at their churches. At Xmas time one year, I knew I was going to have a hard time, because the practice of keeping Xmas is so pagan. I couldn't act as if it was alright to do it, and I couldn't tell them it was wrong to do it. The karate instructor had already told me, he wanted me to tell the story of Jesus' birth. I thought about this long and hard, and finally decided I would tell the story, but show them in the Bible that it was in the fall, because shepherds would not have been living in the fields during a cold winter. People just assume that His birth occurred in the winter, because that's what the song says: "on a cold winters night, that was so deep." It was actually at the time of the Feast of Tabernacles, .. that's why there was no room in the inn. I also asked questions like, "how many wise men were there?" Of course, their answer was "three", but when I asked them to show me in the Bible where it said there were three, they couldn't. This is the way I taught these kids to read their Bibles. I would say things like, "Don't go to church without your Bible. You need to follow along with the preacher, to make sure what he is saying is really in there!"
One night after class, the instructor stopped me on my way out, and told me, "I needed to stay out of the Old Testament, that all of those old laws had been nailed to the cross. I need to just preach Jesus, and get these kids saved!" He went on to tell me that several of the kids had quit coming to Bible study, because of the doctrine I was teaching. This really amazed me since I knew how careful I had been. I thought back for a moment, and the only place I had really been in the Old Testament, was in Exodus 20, when we were learning the Ten Commandments. I pointed out to him that it was very important for them to know and follow the Commandments of God. He agreed, but told me: "It's this Sabbath thing. The Christian Sabbath of today is SUNDAY." When I asked him to show me in the Bible where it had been changed, he couldn't. What was I supposed to do, lie to these kids?
While we were studying them, I took them all the way back to Genesis 2:2-3, "And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made." I then took them to Exodus 20:8-11, "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it."
I went on to ask the instructor how important the rest of the Commandments were. If we could dismiss that one, why do we follow the rest? It must be OK for us to commit murder, lie, cheat, steal, etc. I left him speechless. It seemed to me, I had a BIG decision to make: should I keep teaching the class, and do what he wanted me to do, or should I do what God wanted me to do? The answer became very clear to me as I prayed about this. How could I tiptoe around the truth, just to please a man? I had to quit teaching the class.
Now, how was I going to tell the kids? Was I going to tell them that there had been disagreement on some of the things I had been teaching? (Apparently some had went home to their moms and dads, and started asking questions.) No, I would do my next class, and then tell the instructor that I would no longer be doing it. When I went in the following week, once again, I had them open their Bibles so I could show them things likeMatthew 5:17-19, "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
I told the kids that I could not, and would not, compromise the Word of God, to please man. You see, I take Gods Word very literal! Matthew 18:6, "But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea." Verses like this let me know that I am going to be held accountable for my teaching. By the time I had finished, I had a couple of kids and an adult sitting there with tears in their eyes, as well as in my own. I hated to leave, but I knew I couldn't stay. As I closed my class in prayer, I asked God to continue to help them grow spiritually. I also told them to keep bringing their Bibles, because it is God's love letter to us. In it, He tells us what is expected from us. As I was gathering my things together, getting ready to walk out of that door for the very last time, I had two teenagers and one adult, come up to give me a hug, and tell me that they really appreciated what I had done for them through that class. They told me that they had learned more about the Bible in the fifteen minutes a week I was spending with them, than they had in all the time they had attended church. That really made me feel that all was not lost after all.
It just goes to prove that when you start revealing truth, most people are going to flee from it. They don't want to come out of their comfort zone. They will twist and turn Scripture every which way, to prove that they are right, and you are wrong. My husband likes to call it "Salad Bar Religion," just pick and choose what you like, and leave the rest.
I said all that, to say this: Keep going with the truth. Even though it may seem like you're not getting through to anyone, some are going to be affected by your words. Don't let Satan win by making you think you're losing. Remember, he loses in the end and he's going to try every trick in the book to make you think you are losing too.
The Lord spoke to Noah and said, "Noah, in six months I am going to make it rain until the whole world is covered with water and all the evil things are destroyed. But, I want to save a few good people and two of every living thing on the planet. I am ordering you to build an ark." And, in a flash of lightning, God delivered the specifications for the ark. "OK," Noah said, trembling with fear and fumbling with the blueprints, "I'm your man." "Six months and it starts to rain," thundered the Lord. "You better have my ark completed or learn to swim for a long, long time!"
Six months passed, the sky began to cloud up, and the rain began to fall in torrents. The Lord looked down and saw Noah sitting in his yard, weeping, and there was no ark. "Noah!" shouted the Lord, "where is My ark?" A lightning bolt crashed into the ground right beside Noah. "Lord, please forgive me!" begged Noah. "I did my best, but there were some big problems."
"First, I had to get a building permit for the ark's construction, but your plans did not meet their code. So, I had to hire an engineer to redo the plans, only to get into a long argument with him about whether to include a fire-sprinkler system. My neighbors objected, claiming that I was violating zoning ordinances by building the ark in my front yard, so I had to get a variance from the city planning board. Then, I had a big problem getting enough wood for the ark, because there was a ban on cutting trees to save the spotted owl. I tried to convince the environmentalists and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that I needed the wood to save the owls, but they wouldn't let me catch them anyway, so no owls."
"Next, I started gathering up the animals but got sued by an animal rights group that objected to me taking along only two of each kind. Just when the suit got dismissed, the EPA notified me that I couldn't complete the ark without filing an environmental impact statement on your proposed flood. They didn't take kindly to the idea that they had no jurisdiction over the conduct of a Supreme Being. Then, the Corps of Engineers wanted a map of the proposed flood plan. I sent them a globe! Right now, I'm still trying to resolve a complaint with the Equal Opportunities Commission over how many minorities I'm supposed to hire. The IRS has seized all my assets claiming that I am trying to leave the country, and I just got a notice from the state that I owe some kind of use tax. Really, I don't think I can finish the ark in less than five years."
With that, the sky cleared, the sun began to shine, and a rainbow arched across the sky. Noah looked up and smiled. "You mean you are not going to destroy the world?" he asked hopefully. "No," said the Lord, "the government already has."
Gun Control Has Proven Record of Effectiveness -
Asheville Trubune commentary by John J. McNight of Weaverville, NC
In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, approximately 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
In 1928, Germany established gun control. From 1939 to 1945, 13 million Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, the mentally ill, and others, who were unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
In 1935, China established gun control. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents were unable to defend themselves and were rounded up and exterminated.
In 1964, Guatemala established gun control. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
In 1970, Uganda established gun control. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
In 1956, Cambodia established gun control. From 1975 to 1977, one million "educated" people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
That places total victims who lost their lives because of gun control at approximately 56 million in the last century. Since we should learn from the mistakes of history, the next time someone talks in favor of gun control, find out which group of citizens they wish to have exterminated.
by Christopher J Patton
It is not natural to be thankful. It even seems hard to say it, whether we mean it or not. When Jesus healed the ten lepers, only one turned to give Him thanks. Although all ten were healed, only one was set free. The other healed lepers walked on. They were healed in body, but their lives remained in bondage to this world as if they were still lepers in their mindful reality - their souls were still diseased (Luke 17:11-19).
The Pilgrims were not so callous to God's mercy. A good reading of their story shows how God had prepared Squanto to be their guide to survival in the New World. The people were abundantly thankful, so they shared their material blessings with all around. The popular media may focus on the menu of that first Thanksgiving meal, but what is really needed is the appreciative attitude. The United States in particular has prospered so greatly during this decade that it has seemingly forgotten why our nation is so well off. As the salt of our nation, we should not forget.
Jesus said in John 10:10, "I came that they might have life, and might have it more abundantly." Thus, we learn that He first saves us from the prince of darkness by bringing us into His own Kingdom (Colossians 1:13), then He purposes that our lives grow more abundant in every conceivable blessing. To God, what blesses materially must also bless spiritually; therefore, we limit His opportunities to heal and otherwise bless us when we are not thankful. When we are thankful, our hearts overflow to raise up towards heaven the thanks of praise.
"Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions," (Luke 12:15-48). Read this section of scripture through verse 48 in preparation for Thanksgiving. The key here is that we are to focus on doing God's work in our daily lives from on the job, to at home. If we are mindful of the opportunities that God gives us to grow spiritually and to share His love, then He will provide our every need. This is His will and greatest desire for us (verses 30-32).
However, Jesus is not against budgeting or planning. The liberating truth is laid out in Matthew 6:24, "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." Mammon equals materialism. Materialism is the essence of the spirit of Babylon. It is the spirit of slavery unto death, which comes about by hanging on to the old man (Satan's doorway to our lives) instead of dying to self daily. Through thankful acceptance of God's grace, we shift the focus of our consciousness to the new man of promise. God is Life, and the Holy Spirit unlocks all bonds, releasing us to the full liberty of love. With liberty comes responsibility: to love others, be thankful and to share in God's spiritual and material abundance as He gives us the heart and ability to do so.
I am not advocating a vow of poverty, nor am I encouraging neglect of family. The key element is spiritual balance, of being in the world but not of it. When future historians look back on our time, it will be characterized by its superfluous abundance of meaningless material goods - the many things for which there is only a perceived but not a real need. I believe it can be exciting, wonderful, and motivating to work for and search out fine furniture, a new car, or a desired collectible, for example. This is not what Jesus is talking about. God showered material blessings upon Abraham and others. He wants to do so to us, but we have to be prepared to receive His blessings. The way to prepare for the goodness of God beyond our expectation is to be thankful now for His blessings in whatever state we are in - even when His blessing is what we call a trial. The thankful recognize God as the source of all goodness, the One who is able to give and to remove. In this attitude one is not enslaved to materialism. Therefore, to those who trust God in faith, trials pass when lessons are learned, and poverty leaves when wealth will not be a curse.
Modern western society is a throwaway society where it is cheaper to buy new than to fix or repair some broken appliance. The problem is that this attitude overflows into our dealings with people. If someone, a family, or some other group has a problem or problems, we are conditioned by our society's attitudes towards the cheapness of goods to cast "problem" people aside rather than to humbly struggle with them in love and patience as with our own family.
This does not mean that God has graced us with the means and understanding to aid every person needing help. "Love your neighbor as yourself" places the responsibility for each of us to function spiritually on both sides of the graceful transaction: being sometimes the benefactor and at other times the beneficiary. Although "It is more blessed to give than to receive," (Acts 20:35), we should not in our pride deny others the opportunity to help us. We will all stand before the judgment seat alone and so we will be judged as much by how we receive as well as by how we give. Through both opportunities, God teaches us to walk the path of life.
Being thankful is one of the major attitudes of spiritual freedom. It is a key to loose the bonds of this age that the Giver of all good gifts stands ready to grant us. By faith, we are instructed to use it today for better living in Godly service. The Apostle Paul writes, "I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am," (Philippians 4:11, Read from verse 6-13). If we are thankful for what we currently enjoy of this life, we will not have possessions but gifts, and therefore we will not be possessed by them, but give their use to God's glory as we and our neighbors have need.
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by Mark Carr
We have made numerous changes in the last two months on the Jerusalem Sentinel's web site. We now have our own domain, www.JerusalemSentinel.com We have added many resources including some out of print material and we have re-designed the site.
If you have internet access be sure to visit us. Both Charles and I have new e-mail addresses too. You can contact Charles at email@example.com and me at mcarr@JerusalemSentinel.com. Be sure to check the web site often as more changes are planned.
Albert "Nick" Fladung, Jr. died in a single car accident on August 8, 2000 in Knoxville, TN. He was born November 24, 1943 and was buried in the Tennessee Veterans Cemetery in Knoxville on August 10th.
Many of you knew Nick, he observed the Feast of Tabernacles with us in 1994, was a member of the Church of God since the late 60's and helped with proof reading the Jerusalem Sentinel from 1993-5. He wrote an article in the 1995 Vol. 4 No. 1 issue, titled Back to Nature.
As we go to press we want to let everyone know that it is very important that you make your reservation for the Feast TODAY if you are going to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina!
There are only a few rooms left at the Beach Colony so if you are planning to stay there, call Marianne ASAP at 1-800-867-8525. She can also help you with accommodations at other motels in the area if the room you need is no longer available.
We are looking forwards to seeing all of you!!!
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